Second-year center Khaled Holmes took most of the practice snaps with the Indianapolis Colts’ first-team offense Wednesday, the strongest indication yet that he might be recovered from a high ankle sprain six weeks ago and ready to re-claim a starting spot.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Holmes will continue to be evaluated during the week and see how the ankle responds to more of a workload. A.Q. Shipley, claimed off waivers from Baltimore after final cuts, has started the first two games.
“He got some work last week and felt really good coming out of that work, so we plugged him in with the first unit (Wednesday) and he got the lion’s share of the reps wight he ones,” Pagano said of Holmes. “We’ll see how he is (Thursday), see how he comes in. A.Q. got reps, so we’ll just see how it plays out with the ankle and how (Holmes) reacts to a full practice.”
A fourth-round pick out of Southern California in 2013, Holmes began training camp as the starter. Shipley was with the Colts in 2012, when he played in 14 games including five starts. He has 32 games of NFL experience, half of them starts, while Holmes’ rookie season amounted to just a dozen plays and he’s still looking to make his first pro start.
The Colts rested several players for Wednesday practice in preparation for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville. The “DNPs” for rest were running back Ahmad Bradshaw, inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and safety LaRon Landry and wide receiver Reggie Wayne. It’s worth noting all are veteran players with at least six years experience, so extra time off during the week is common.
If there’s an injury report listing to keep an eye on, it’s wide receiver T.Y. Hilton being limited due to a groin injury. Hilton was targeted 11 times against the Eagles and led the team with six receptions for 65 yards.
Cornerback Greg Toler (ribs) was also limited, but he took some time off last week, still started and had a second-quarter interception.
Linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) and defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (ankle) also didn’t practice. Freeman missed the last game while Jean Francois played.
“Still don’t know that” Pagano said of Freeman’s readiness, “he’s day-to-day.”
Cornerback Darius Butler (neck), defensive tackle Arthur Jones (ankle) and offensive guard Joe Reitz (ankle) also did not practice. Jones is expected to miss a few weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in Monday night’s 30-27 home loss to Philadelphia.
Butler, the team’s nickel back, chatted with reporters in the locker room, a positive indication his injury isn’t serious.
Reitz, a reserve offensive tackle/guard, has missed the last two weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in the preseason finale at Cincinnati.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.